It’s 2015 and there’s no better time to be whatever you want to be. Jo Hemesley is living proof of this. Why? Well Jo is the Assistant Director of Sales and Beekeeper of Lancaster London.

Say what? Yes! Assistant Director of Sales and BEEKEEPER. You read the sentence correctly the first time. We took a moment with Jo to find out what exactly what his job entails.

Jo HemesleyName: Jo Hemesley

Job title: Assistant Director of Sales and Beekeeper

Company: Lancaster London

What does your job role entail?

My role is varied and very interesting involving team management, strategic planning and budgeting and managing my own client portfolio.

I manage the proactive sales team at the hotel. Each year I work with the team to prepare an annual sales activity plan and we use this though out the year to help to achieve the budget.

I’m also the beekeeper for the hotel – Lancaster London has 10 beehives on the office roof and from Spring to late autumn I check on the hives every week. At the end of the summer we harvest the honey which is available for the guests to buy as a fun token of their stay.

Describe your working day or week?

I’m a specialist in the corporate market – which involves setting up bedroom contracts with corporate companies. The hotel has business from all over the world. My sales territory includes the local area in the UK, Scandinavia and the USA. Last week I was in Texas on a sales road show, with 8 other sales managers from hotels around the world. Now I am back in the office I am following up on all the new business opportunities.

What key skills do you need to do your job?

Great communications skills and planning abilities are essential. If you can gain some experience in people management that is valuable too. You’ll need good decision making skills and lots of drive and determination. Some great attributes to have are curiosity, plenty of energy and to feel passionately about the product you are selling!

What made you decide to go for this job role?

For me it was the next step in my career and the opportunity to develop professionally especially in strategic and team management. I think that the Lancaster London is a fantastic hotel and there are lots of exciting developments taking place at the hotel. At the moment the hotel is undergoing a complete transformation which will be completed in 2017.

Lancaster London External Photography 2

Best part of your job?

There are many things that make the job great, the team I work with, the chance to fulfil my love of travelling and staying in great hotels along the way and the fact that I have the chance to learn something as amazing as beekeeping!

Worst part of your job?

Travelling to great places and then having no time to explore and enjoy! But it’s a good way of researching future holiday destinations.

Most memorable moment at work?

Abseiling from the roof of the hotel would certainly rate as one of my most memorable moments – I have always loved the views of London from the hotel but being up on the roof had to be the best view of all!

If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?

There are lots of hotel schools available offering courses tailored for going into hotel management. My degree in Business Studies at DMU gave me a good board understanding of business, economics, accounting and marketing. I don’t think that it is necessary to attend a hotel school in order to have a career in the hotel industry. In fact you may choose to start in the industry via an apprenticeship. The Lancaster London has an active apprenticeship program available.

Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?

I did a 1 year work placement as a part of my Business studies Degree – that was for a magazine company. I think any experience you can gain before you start full-time work is useful and shows your future employers keenness to grow and develop.

Give us a tip on how to steal your job.

Have a good background in hotel sales and a passion for the hospitality industry! It’s a fantastic industry with masses of opportunities and I would recommend it to anyone!

Photos: Richard Twilton